After the devastating storm ravaged the city, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden announced plans to visit Houston on Friday, February 26.
Biden told the Associated Press that he doesn't want to be a burden and that he is mindful of challenges the fourth largest city in the nation is undertaking after a record-breaking winter event. “They’re working like the devil to take care of their folks,” Biden said last week of Texas officials, CultureMap news partner ABC13 notes.
The trip will be President Biden’s first to a state beset by a natural disaster, to say nothing of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Biden will meet with local leaders to discuss the winter storm, relief efforts, progress toward recovery, and the incredible resilience shown by the people of Houston and Texas, CNN reports.
The White House declared Texas a major disaster site on February 19. For his part, Biden has pressed federal agencies to identify additional resources to address the those in need. Locals can apply for FEMA aid here and look to these tips for help.
The 46th president heads to Houston as the city is recovering from mass power and water outages, and freezing temperatures that resulted in 22 dead in the Greater Houston area.
February’s winter storm is already on record as the costliest insurance claim event in Texas history. The severe weather caused CenterPoint Energy’s outage tracker site to crash. At one point, more than 1.3 million locals were without power. The city was forced to declare a boil water notice for days.
To assist residents who have fallen through local and federal funding cracks, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the creation of a winter storm relief fund on February 22.